The 9 Absolute Best Things To Do With Friends in Pittsburgh

February 13, 2019
Culture & Art
jason wolfe

When it comes to having fun, Pittsburghers have got it down to a science.

Yeah, we’re known as the City of Champions, but we could also easily be the City of Fun.

But sometimes we take all the cool activities we have to do year round for granted.

Some of the things on this list you may have heard of, but never did. Or perhaps you experienced them ages ago, and now it’s time to refresh your memory! This is a great list to use when you’re having friends or family visit from out of town as well.

There are some Pittsburgh staples on the list, but there are also some spots you may not be familiar with but should definitely check out!

It’s easy to have fun in Pittsburgh, and the places below are just a sampling of what you and your friends can do. Why not keep the fun going and pick up a GiftYa electronic gift card? They’re good at all the attractions below. Or if your friends live out of town, why not surprise them with a personalized GiftYa text, letting them know the next time they’re in town, you can try another item on the list? Either way, GiftYa is a great way to send fun to friends and family.

1. Trundle Manor

Trundle Manor
This quirky place is a must visit! There are so many interesting things to see, and more arrive everyday!
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Swissvale
7724 Juniata Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

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Open by appointment only 412-916-5544

A house full weird taxidermy statues or jarred medical specimens-- amongst other things-- is the famous Trundle Manor.

We had a blast!! Everything is so odd and our lovely tour guide explained everything to us and answered all of our questions... - Yelp Review

The proprietors have turned their house in Swissvale into a museum of oddities, open to the public. All the exhibits are genuine-- no fake props or latex here.

This would be such a cool place to check out with a bunch of friends. You can ogle at all the exhibits and just take in the weirdness.

2. University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Rooms

The Nationality Rooms at University of Pittsburgh
Grab a group of friends and explore the nationality rooms in the Cathedral of Learning!
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Oakland
Cathedral of Learning
4200 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Within the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning there are classrooms which are each devoted to a particular nationality.

The nationality rooms are also a treat, and everyone of them displays a part of the country's culture... - Yelp Review

The goal was to show how Pittsburgh was, and is, an ethnic melting pot. They are also meant to showcase how immigrants to this country contributed greatly to its success. People come from all over the world come to take the tours and peak in on the Austrian, Irish, Japanese, and Romanian rooms.

It’s also cool to note that the university holds classes in these rooms as well, as a means to give students an appreciation of different perspectives.

3. Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory
This is a gorgeous 19th century botanical conservatory, that displays beautiful flowers from around the world.
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Oakland
1 Schenley Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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Mon-Thurs 9:30am-5pm
Fri 9:30-10pm
Sat-Sun 9:30am-5pm

Hang out at Phipps Conservatory for a couple of hours and be transported to another world!

A must do if you are in Pittsburgh! Worth the stop!...

The flowers and trees on display come from all over, and most are species we’d never get the chance to see otherwise. Some species come from South American rainforests, African savannahs, and the Australian outback.

There are also seasonal flower shows which the organization puts together, the highlight of which is the winter flower show. It’s a gorgeous array of flowers, lights, and music. Something not to be missed!

...Takes about 2 hours to navigate through the exhibits! Seasonal creations and at night they have it lit up with special events for the holidays!” - Yelp Review

Image courtesy of Point Brugge. Brunch in Pittsburgh is a serious deal! No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find it here.

4. Do Brunch in Pittsburgh

Brunch in Pittsburgh
Some delicious brunch options (from left to right) in Pittsburgh: Bar Marco, Pamela's, and Point Brugge.

Pittsburgh has so many great spots for brunch, plus it’s a great way to start your day (or afternoon). Depending on what your group is looking for, Pittsburgh has all kinds of options.

If European fare is your thing, check out Point Brugge Cafe for delicious waffles and crepes.

If you’d rather do vegan-- and be surrounded by an eclectic array of resale items-- then you can’t miss the Zenith Tea Room.  

Another good option for a hearty brunch-- and probably the best brunch cocktails-- is Meat & Potatoes.

If you want to catch a soccer game while you brunch on scotch eggs, then Piper’s Pub is definitely a go to destination.

There are so many more restaurants that offer awesome brunch, but these are just a few local favorites.

5. City Brew Tours Pittsburgh

City Brew Tours
Visit the many breweries of Pittsburgh, and leave your cars at home!
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Downtown
112 Washington Pl.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Mon-Sun 10am-6pm

Grab your friends and hit up the City Brew Tours of Pittsburgh!

What a great trip...had a blast visiting several breweries. Got a knowledgeable tour of several of them and plenty of samples. Stopped and had dinner at one of them and the food was great... - Yelp Review

This tour will pick your group up and drive you to a couple of Pittsburgh’s finest craft breweries.

That’s right, you don’t have to worry about driving at all. Sample beers and get a behind the scenes tour of the brewing process.

You’ll learn the history behind each brewery and the type of beer they like to make. You can also opt to include a lunch or dinner which will come with appropriate beer pairings.

What a cool way to see Pittsburgh and sample its brews!

6. Spend the day at Schenley Park

Schenley Park
Relax with your friends and hang out at Schenley Park! There’s so much to do, you’d never know you were in a city!
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Oakland
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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Open from dawn until dusk

If it’s a nice day out, gather some friends and head over one of the city’s biggest parks.

Schenley Park is a great, oft used park for a multitude of things. I have attended 5Ks, baby showers, and charity walks here on many occasions. It never ceases to amaze me. - Yelp Review

Schenley Park is a large green space located in between Oakland, Greenfield, and Squirrel Hill. People love to come walk or hike the trails, have a picnic in one of the shelters-- or even on the grass-- or have a pickup game of football or soccer. It’s easily accessible and there is plenty of on street parking.

If it’s cold out, grab your ice skates and head over to the rink! In any season, this park is a treat to have in the middle of the bustling city, and sure to be a great time.

7. Bike the Montour Trail

Montour Trail
Take a walk or bike on this expansive trail and marvel at the beauty of Western Pennsylvania.
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Montour
Montour Trail Council
304 Hickman St.
Ste. 3
Bridgeville, PA 15017

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412-257-3011

If you and your friends are looking for something to do that’s more active, why not check out the beautiful Montour Trail?

This trail is spectacular to say the least!... - Yelp Review

With over 35 miles of non-motorized trail, you’re free to walk, hike, jog, or bike to your heart’s content. There are trail head’s every couple of miles for ease of access as well.

Make sure to check out the McDonald viaduct, which spans over 1,000 feet over other trails, streams, and local roads.

8. Mattress Factory

Mattress Factory Installations
A very different art show, the Mattress Factory is always on the cutting edge of contemporary installation art.
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North Side
505 Jacksonia St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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Tues-Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 1pm-5pm

The Mattress Factory is a unique art gallery, and one that is committed to offering artists the space to create and visualize their installation art work.

This is by far my favorite museum I have ever been to...The art is always dynamic, unique, and makes you feel. Sometimes it's interactive. - Yelp Review

There’s always something new to see here, and many of the pieces on display are by artists in residence.  Sometimes hard to decipher--but always visually stunning-- the art here is meant to make you question the world around you, and how you interact with it.

9. Tubing and Skiing at Boyce Park

Tubing and Skiing at Boyce Park
Skiing and snow tubing right in your own backyard! Boyce Park is definitely a great destination for some winter fun.
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Plum
675 Old Frankstown Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15239

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724-733-4656

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Open 8am-sunset

When the winter weather sets in, Pittsburghers don’t let them keep them from having fun!

Skiing so close to home, and a fraction of the cost of the area resorts. It's not fancy, but the lifts are efficient, and rates can't be beat... - Yelp Review

If you don’t feel like driving to 7 Springs or Hidden Valley to go skiing or snow tubing, stay local and go to Boyce Park! This Allegheny County park has smaller hills, but it is still big on fun. You could easily spend the whole day out here, and at half the price of the other places, it is easy on the budget.

There are so many fun adventures you can have with your friends in Pittsburgh. This list is just a sampling!

What have you tried on this list and how was it? Let us know in the comments!

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